Johannes Kleske

May 19, 2014 8:53 am

A couple of thoughts on the NY Times Innovation Report

What's so fascinating about the leaked NY Times Innovation Report (full-color version here and the most important quotes here) is that it seems to manifest most of the challenges that every company out there faces moving into digital. I can see so many similarities with the advertising agencies I know, for example, which try to cope with digital.

This is why I think the insights from this report can play a huge role outside the NY Times and even outside the media industry.

  • You need more than journalists to save journalism. 
Journalism at the NY Times is doing fine. The challenge lies in the packaging and distribution and a big part of that has to do with technology. And this is where the NY Times is failing. 
To adapt one of our mottos at Third Wave: every journalism company needs to also become a tech company.
  • OMG, Teh Silos!!1!!1 
The best technology department can't help when the company culture doesn't allow for the newsroom to talk to the design, development or R&D department. That's why we keep telling our clients that this is the part that most digital strategies will fall apart at.
  • It really takes time 
Looking through the report, I don't feel any schadenfreude towards the Times. The document is a good study on how difficult the transition into a more digital context really is. I think we need to cut companies some slack. This process takes more time then anyone is willing to admit. 
Yes, it can feel like they don't have that time when start-ups seem to have it much easier, not having a traditional company culture. But I'd rather see the quality of older companies survive than to have them all replaced.

More thoughts once I've read through the whole report.